Team Laser Cats

Folks in Philadelphia who love bikes, cats, and snacks.

Knar Gavin

woman over-the-shoulder selfie on a roadside while cycling

Knar on the open road

Name: Knar Gavin

Occupation/Off-Bike Skills: I am currently pursuing a graduate degree in English at the University of Pennsylvania. I started out making poetry (an MFA in Iowa, with LOTS of corn-side spins). More recently, my research pertains to environmental theory, media ecologies and experimentalisms in literature and occasionally, new media/film. I use the remaining time that I don’t have to make sorta mediocre slowcore songs/sounds with guitars/keyboards/other things. I used to be a barista, and I miss pouring foamiform hearts & swans.

DisciplinesI am critter of the road!

Cats or cat alternatesI once loved a horse named Gretchen. She was very, very fast and elegant of both nostril and hoof. Growing up, I had 44 hamsters, 8 guinea pigs, 3 rabbits, and I think 5 dogs? I am now pet-less, and have no idea where Gretchen is.

Favorite snacks: FRUIT! I’m something of a fiend for the stuff. But I also like other things — spicy soups, varying scramble heaps and much of the veggie/tofu persuasion. Energy bars — you can make them at home, in a deliciously vegan way (dried fruit puree is a great binder, & a dash of cayenne/candied ginger can really spice things up!)

Why do you ride? 

I picked it up more seriously in 2008-ish. I was car-less amidst miscellaneous jobs/college classes/music things (bike-friendly gig bags *do* exist), and it was a safe/fast/fun way to get it all done. Now I’m just kind of obsessed — it helps me write and think, and it reminds me of the goodness of others — so many of us cycling out there are deeply conscious of/caring toward others, whether it be the offer of snacks/spare tubes, or simply the capacity to be co-present over long rides. There’s a sharing of responsibility that comes with both commuting and racing, and riding always provides a vital reminder to me, of just how good we all can be, and how hard we are willing to work.

Bike career highlights:

My first century ride was a big thrill — it was in Salt Lake City a few summers back. I probably should’ve checked the weather before heading out, but I am nonetheless glad for this super exhausting/crazy-rewarding first hundred-miler. It was incredible — I did it alone, and felt like such a crusher when I rolled back into town and looked up at the digital bank clock — though I left early in the morning, by the time I returned, temperatures had spiked to 106! This is likely not an advisable way to do an initial century, but it’s still a fond memory nonetheless, sun-crunchy skin and all.

Social Media: & @knarpoet (Twitter)